Wednesday, 30 December 2009

emerging from xmas madness

well christmas has certainly been a hectic one this year for m.r. and i but most definitely a wonderful one - full on family, food, fun (and then some more food)!

the only downside was that every member of the family fell ill at some point during the holiday. my mum tells me thats what happens when you switch off and your body starts to wind down for the break.

everyone battled through it though and we still managed to enjoy all the festivities - i find champagne often helps the immune system ;0)

we spent most of our time playing games with the babies, watching movies and eating the most delicious christmas dinner made by my mum. the perfect holiday. oh, and my nephew got his first tooth!

in addition to all of this, father christmas was ridiculously kind to me this year so i had every reason in the world to be smiling....

m.r. treated me to a fantastic sewing machine and his family bought a whole bunch of beautiful accessories to get me started.

i have already ordered two dress patterns (mainly inspired by the 50s-esq dresses worn in 'pushing daisies') and i cannot wait to get going with them....... if only the postal system in london was a little more efficient!

my parents, unbelievably, bought me a pair of christian louboutin shoes. thats right. i can hardly believe it myself but i appreciate how lucky i am to have received such a wonderful present - my parents most definitely rock!

exact picture to follow as mum and i are off to harrods on the weekend to choose the style we think i'd wear the most - with shoes such as these, i think this decision should be taken very seriously!

all the family, including m.r., swear that all my presents were bought before my 'if father christmas' post below. it would appear that they all know me far too well!

well, i'm just about to start catching up on everyones elses christmas stories. i'm so looking forward to hearing about how you all spent your holidays and what made your christmas wonderful this year.....

Thursday, 24 December 2009

see you on the other side....

before i disappear for a couple of days into the world of family, seasonal get-togethers, i wanted to wish you all a very

merry christmas.

i hope you all have a truly wonderful holiday and i look forward to reading all your festive stories on my return!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

if father christmas......

was a millionaire or a miracle worker, i would ask him for these christmas presents:

1. every pair of shoes that christian louboutin has ever designed
2. a brand new laptop that doesn't take a lifetime to connect to the internet and can cope with photoshop, so i don't have to keep 'borrowing' m.r.'s
3. a sewing machine and every sewing accessory i can think of to make pretty, pretty things
4. a blackberry. i am not interested in the iphone. i need functionality, not apps.
5. a winning lottery ticket
6. my grandad back - if only for my wedding day

not that i'm asking for much....

in reality, christmas this year will be all about family for me and m.r. - his and mine, that is "ours". (i still love saying that!)
it will be a first christmas for my new nephew and niece and my eldest nephew actually understands whats going on for the first time.
i'm so ridiculously excited.
even if the babies enjoy the wrapping paper more than the things inside it, i can't think of a better christmas present than watching them smile all day.
their laughs are contagious.
no other present will beat it.

Friday, 18 December 2009

shaking with excitement

starting a new job is bound to be fairly daunting.
but yesterday, i attended an away day with the team i'll be joining in january and boy, i am a happy lady today.....

you know when things all sort of fall into place? well, i feel as though i fell into place there, with these people.

i feel as though i 'fit'.

i think this change is going to be a great one.

last night, as i was telling m.r. all about how fantastic the day had been, i was literally shaking with excitement.
that can only ever be a good thing.

without wanting to wish away christmas.... bring on january!

Monday, 14 December 2009

saved from the monday blues

i had the monday blues today.

no special reason. although, i guess i'm so ready to be at my new job now, the last few days here are passing slowly.

but then i received this wonderfully cheerful email from my mum and my blues faded away:

Just had another look at the photos of your wedding dress and it is absolutely beautiful.

Luv MUM xx

isn't it lovely how the little things can make all the difference!

p.s. sorry i can't post any photos of wedding dress in question - i'm being very secretive about the dress and don't want the wrong people to catch sight of it!!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

party season

christmas party season kicked off last night with a 'razzle dazzle' 20s event.

m.r. freelances for the company my dad started earlier this year, looking after their i.t., so we were technically invited as employee and partner, but i was just pleased to be there, supporting my dad at his first company 'do'.

we all had so much fun.....

we were treated to a fabulous cabaret show

we spun the wheel and played some roulette

and we ate a delicious meal
(please note-glasses here are m.r.'s and i am borrowing them to watch the cabaret! saying that, i'm strangly tempted to get a pair...)

in addition to all of this, there were dodgems!!!!!!

this photo was taken a moment before we hit my brother and sister-in-law, in car number 3, straight up the bum.

as far as i'm concerned, any party that has dodgems, is undeniably awesome.

so thanks mum and dad - we had the best time! xx

Thursday, 10 December 2009

my new obsession

right now, i absolutely adore mustard.

the colour. not the condiment.

i am by no means a fashionista, so please forgive me if mustard was 'so last season', but it is my new obsession.




all images from yes style.

christmas sales are approaching - i'm pretty sure my wardrobe will soon be full of mustard.

the colour. not the condiment.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

the wanderer returns

on returning to the real world after a weekend of debauchery i think it is safe to conclude that i am definitely not as capable as handling late nights, drinking games and sleeping in beds that are sized for children as well as i perhaps once was.

the christmas annual reunion went a little something like this:

as we reunite from all over the UK, everyone slowly trickled into the cottage throughout friday evening.

if i'm honest, this is my favourite part as, although there is often initial awkwardness (the 'how have you been?' and 'how's work going?' kind of questions) within five minutes, we're in the lounge laughing and joking as though our uni days were only yesterday.

it gives me a warm feeling inside to know that regardless of the length of time that passes between catch ups, our friendships are as strong as ever.

saturday morning was spent undertaking some serious shopping at the local supermarket and getting this stocked in the kitchen, ready for cooking the christmas meal later that day. when buying for 21 people, its extremely easy to overestimate........

at this stage, we took a long walk to the nearerst pub where we are usually stared at by 'locals'!
nonetheless, the boys crammed themselves around the tiniest tv in the corner to watch the rugby and the girls were left with some free time to finally have a good old gossip.

once home, the production line begins!

the girls chopped and peeled. the boys spent ages discussing the best way to cook the meat.


while the food was a'cooking, we all retired to the lounge to watch xfactor.

intense debate regarding perceived level of talent followed.

and then we ate.

the rest of the evening, i'm afraid should and will remain photoless on this blog.

images of my friends reverting back to their 18 year old former selves are never going to be pretty - i fear it may give you the wrong impression of them.

instead, i will leave you with this:

the annual reunion was amazing.

my friends are incredible.

every year, this is the start to my christmas and that makes me very happy indeed.

Friday, 4 December 2009

reunion comes but once a year

i am off to the countryside today for my annual christmas uni reunion weekend.

this annual weekend away is one of the highlights of my year - full of christmas festivities, reminiscing, good food and friendly banter.

countryside adventures, however, equate to no computer, no wifi and therefore, no blogging!

bye bye blogworld - although i will only be gone for 3 days, i will miss you. although, i promise some juicy posts and pictures on my return.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

work-wardrobe revamp required - URGENTLY!

i start a new job in january (i am almost bursting with excitement!).

but i am attending a 'christmas away day' with the whole team - all 25 of them - in a couple of weeks and i am desperate to find the perfect outfit.

i want this to be a new beginning. my current job (well, my current company) is extremely corporate and my outfits have evolved over the last few years and become 'appropriate' for my position. but soon, i will be a buyer in retail and i need to re-find my mojo.

somehow, very quickly, i need to reinject my personality into my work wardrobe......

which is where you lot hopefully come in!

from my wonderful blogger friends, i have discovered the incredible WOW! i adore dresses and boy, are these dresses adorable.

i was hoping that you may hold more of these secret hidden gems that i am completely unaware of?

please, please share if you do - i am in desperate need of a work-wardrobe revamp!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

welcoming winter

m.r. and i changed from using the 'thin' to the 'fat' duvet this week.

it is our annual acceptance that winter has arrived:
our way of saying 'welcome winter!'

welcome, woolly hats, scarves and gloves
welcome, choirs singing christmas carols
welcome, bare trees
welcome, red noses
welcome, counting down to midnight
welcome, my birthday
welcome, using the weather outside as an excuse to snuggle on the sofa and watch a movie
welcome, fresh starts and new resolutions
welcome, ugg boots (lack of ankle support will not convince me to abandon you)
welcome, finding pine needles all over the house
welcome, fat duvet

welcome winter - of all the four seasons, you are by far my favourite.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

thanks for m.r.

just a note to wish my stateside blogger friends a truely happy thanksgiving for tomorrow!

i know we don't celebrate thanksgiving over this side of the pond, but m.r. called me at work today just to tell me he loved me and it made me realise how thankful i am to have found him.

it made me think back to the early months of our relationship, when everything was new and we had just said those three immortal words to one another. shortly after this time, i sent him a list of reasons why i loved him. they are also the reasons i still thank whoever sent him to me:
  1. You’re gorgeous
  2. You eat my attempts at cooking with a smile on your face
  3. You’re a computer geek
  4. You are genuinely kind-hearted (a rarity nowadays)
  5. You wear awesome clothes
  6. You support me and make me believe i am capable of anything
  7. Your parents have a beautiful house in france (joke!)
  8. You spend time with my family and love them even though they’re a little crazy
  9. You leave the toothpaste in the shower after weirdly brushing your teeth with hot water
  10. You don’t eat sweets, which leaves all the more for me
 i love m.r.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

a name like no other

this morning, i was catching up with the goings-on in the blog world when i came across a lovely post by rhianne from 'for the easily distracted'.

she had updated her blogroll by listing all her favourite blogger's gorgeous header pictures. it was a fantastic idea, it looked wonderful and it was so inviting! i couldn't wait to check out more good reads.

but to my horror of horrors, there was a header with my blogs name on it. 
i was devastated. 
i had clearly not done my research.

so, in some form of attempt to avoid confusion, i have decided to change my blog's name.

and a new name, called for a new header. i hope you like it!

p.s. i have avoided changing my url...... i have no idea of the blogger world consequences of doing so as internet technology escapes me somewhat. if anyone has any advice on this, it would be more than welcome! do i change it or not????

Monday, 23 November 2009

joan rivers had a good point

today was the beginning of my 'i'm going to have a katy perry-esq body by the time i get married in may' plan.

so, at lunchtime, i hauled myself to the gym - a place whose absence in my life over the last few years, i confess, i have not missed.

45 minutes later, every single limb felt as though it was one moment away from falling off. to say i was in pain would be an understatement. blimey.

i am clearly unfit. scrap that, i think my body may have forgotten how to use it's muscles.

somebody please tell me that this gets easier.......?

Sunday, 22 November 2009

back to the rat race

i've been away from work for the past week (revision and exam days). i feel as though my weekend has lasted forever. it's been fabulous.

returning to work tomorrow will be a struggle.

mountains of emails await me.

i'm taking bets on how soon into the morning i decide i've earnt a break and, subsequently, log on to blogger..........

oh well, at least december is almost here. nobody does any work in december, right???

Friday, 20 November 2009

dreaming of a white christmas

as we approach christmas time, my thoughts generally turn to a number of things (presents, family, mince pies, board games, the queen's speech!) but i also think of snow.

here in london, we are almost never blessed with a white christmas. it's one of the saddest things about living in the capital. christmas is the time i miss living by the sea where waking up to find snow had covered the ground was always a lot more likely.

that being said, london does seem to partake in the snowy wonderfulness occassionally - just when london decides it's appropriate to do so.
2008 - snow fell in april
2009 - snow fell in february

i love snow. unfortunately, london transport does not and the slight sign of white droplets sends the capital into a spin. in february, undergrounds came to a standstill, bus routes were terminated and getting to work became a nightmare. 
i "worked from home".
m.r. decided to walk into work and these are his photos from his journey..........




this year, i'm definitely dreaming of a white christmas!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

band of brothers

m.r. and i have just watched the final episode of "band of brothers" - it is a truly sensational series.

i'm not usually a huge fan of war programmes or movies, i always feel as though they're lacking in real emotion and could never come close to depicting how it must have felt to be in those times and that situation. i guess i always felt like a fraud in a way - as though i was somehow undermining the pain and suffering these men must have gone through by watching an actor crossing the screen with fake blood strewn across their face and uniform.

i didn't feel like a fraud watching this. in fact, after each episode, m.r. and i were often rendered speechless for a few minutes, having been forced to contemplate the horrifying experiences these men had to endure. maybe because the men in the programme were real men, all unique characters, with real lives waiting for them back at home. i don't know.

please watch this series. it is heartbreaking.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

guilty pleasures

over the past few days, i have been preoccupied with revising for my upcoming exams tomorrow and friday. i would like to submit photo (a) as evidence of said revision.

however, i confess that i have manged to find numerous distractions over the past 2 days that have somewhat delayed said revision.

notably, "the hills".

i realise that admitting to watching this programme is far from cool. however, i am who i am.
i know the programme is fake.
the characters are incredibly annoying
and i curse myself for not having been to the gym recently everytime 'kristin' appears on the screen (scrap that, anytime any of the girls appear on the screen)
but......... i am completely addicted.

it's a guilty pleasure, what can i say?!

i deplore any one else with a guilty pleasure to share it with me in attempt to rid me of my own shame.

p.s. i pretend to be ashamed but i love it way too much to care how others may judge me ;0)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

sunday, fun sunday

with m.r. working on the laptop and bob dylan providing a soundtrack to our sunday, i spent the morning baking a cake.

one of my dearest friends had nominated himself to host an afternoon tea session and cook a few of us an english roast. the cake was my way of saying thank you.

the host will actually be my usher at our wedding. i realise it isn't exactly traditional for the bride to have an usher, but i wanted him to be part of the day somehow, so i've let tradition take a back seat on this one.

so usher, dinner was delicious, thank you - a fantastic way to finish off the weekend!

exams next week...........darn. why oh why is it so hard to focus and study?????

Friday, 13 November 2009

"frankly my dear".......

recently, i discovered that m.r. has never seen the movie 'gone with the wind'.

"how is this possible?" i asked, "it's a classic!"

"well, it's a chick flick, right?" he replied.

i tried to explain that this movie is in no way a chick flick. instead, it serves as a warning to everyone that the grass is definitely not always greener and by the time you realise this, it may be too late - you may have already lost the one thing that you loved the most.

nowadays (i hesitate to use the phrase 'our generation' without sounding like my grandad), we're always wanting to be one step ahead of ourselves, always wanting the next big thing or wishing we had something that we can't afford. often, i think we forget what we actually already have, and don't take enough time to appreciate the place we are right now.

so here's my appreciation, as right now i'm in the happiest, most wonderful relationship, surrounded by a supportive and loving family, with hard to find, genuine friends. i'm in a job i love, living in a flat that feels like home.

i obviously dream of other things, things that will come to us in time i am sure. but right now, all of that can wait. because right now, i have everything i could wish for.

take some time today to tell me your appreciations and why you love where you are right now!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

my wonderful sister

i've always wanted a sister.

my brother, as brothers go, is pretty great (forgetting the 'smacking me over the head with a spade' incident when we were young). but it was never going to be the same as having a sister

i dreamt of having someone to share secrets with, someone to take shopping to help me find that perfect dress, someone to call me just to tell me the latest celeb gossip they'd heard.

until now, friends have always been a substitute. but as a result of an extremely intelligent decision made by my brother (see, good points!), i now have my very own, fabulous sister.

she's awesome. and yesterday, she was offered a new job! whoop whoop!

congratulations sis - we're all very proud of you! xx

Monday, 9 November 2009

scrumptious hot cider

i had such a wonderful weekend.

the weather was beautiful - a chilly, crisp breeze with sunshine beaming through the clouds. perfect for being outside, wrapped up in your favourite hat and scarf!

i spent my saturday at the market with some friends, drinking scrumptious hot cider. but what began as a cheeky afternoon drink soon turned into the most fun, unplanned, evening, full of catch-up stories and laughter (remind me to tell you about the french spa adventures another time!).

what an incredible feeling - when you realise all over again how fabulous your friends are!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

christmas excitement (in november)

i realise it's only the beginning of november, but i love christmas and i'm already so excited about it. it's the one time in the year that you're officially allowed to be a kid again!

my parents have always made the biggest effort when it comes to the little things - when we were younger, my dad would dress up in my mum's red coat and white scarf on christmas eve so that if we woke whilst he was putting our sacks of pressies out, we would think he was santa!

and my mum would leave sprinklings of tinsel around the house during the lead up to christmas, telling us that they were threads from the fairys' dresses who had been to visit and check we were behaving.

plus, we used to get our 'big' present left for us downstairs in the lounge and dad would always tease us that he didn't think santa had brought us one this year. i say 'used' to - this tradition is still in full force in our househould, despite the fact that we're hitting our 30s.

christmas is a truely magical time and we feel so lucky to have 3 fabulous niece and nephews to shower with christmas fantasies and pressies this year.

bring on santa!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

the beginning

my very first post........esk!

so i guess this all started 6 months ago, when my gorgeous boyfriend proposed to me, in my most favourite place in the city, with the most beautiful ring i've ever seen.

not only did he manage to surprise me (which is difficult as i organise both of our diaries!), he had also asked my dad's permission AND he proposed on one knee. what more could a girl ask for?!

since that night, our lives have been fairly hectic:
our beautiful little niece was born,
our youngest nephew has perfected his disney-esq smile that would melt anybody's heart,
and our eldest nephew has become a toddler, with huge adorable eyes that make you want to give him anything he asks for.
my parents threw us an incredibly fun (if not fairly drunken) engagement party.
so many of our family travelled up to celebrate with us, which we hugely appreciated.
my brother and his wife were married in a fabulous english manor house.
i was, very proudly, one of their bridesmaids.
we visited the parents in law-to-be in france and stayed in their beautiful 18th century farmhouse.
we attended 3 of our friends weddings and loved each and everyone of them.
my best friend (who also happens to be my maid of honour) accepted a marriage proposal from her lovely boyfriend.
the whole family embarked on a whistlestop tour of brazil.
my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary (how inspiring!)
and during all of this, we've also been trying to plan our own wedding...........

so our blog is about all of these wonderful times and wonderful people.